Ralf Rangnick confirmed as Manchester United interim manager
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Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick needs Cristiano Ronaldo on his side for both the short and long term, claims Bundesliga expert and former Norway striker Jan Aage Fjortoft. Rangnick has been appointed United interim manager until the end of the season. The German will then take up a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford.
The role of Ronaldo under Rangnick has come under question in recent days.
The Portuguese superstar was left out of the United starting XI against Chelsea on Sunday, with former Red Devil Gary Neville believing Rangnick had some impact on selection despite not officially being appointed in his new role yet.
Rangnick is famed for a ‘gegenpressing’ style, an approach many feel will not be suited to 36-year-old Ronaldo.
However, Fjortoft believes the former RB Leipzig boss will need Ronaldo firing for two reasons.
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Firstly, Rangnick needs results quickly and Ronaldo is the club’s leading goalscorer this season.
And secondly, Fjortoft reckons Ronaldo’s performances could save Rangnick from the sack before his six-month tenure comes to an end.
Speaking to ESPN FC, Fjortoft said: “First of all, Ralf Rangnick is the professor of German football and he goes in there with a great reputation, but he will have the same rules as any other coach – he has to win football games.
“If you have a look at the scoring list of Manchester United, he has scored 10, Ronaldo.
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“Maybe Cristiano Ronaldo will save Ralf Rangnick. Do you think that he will stay on until the summer if Manchester United are eighth?
“For me it’s quite easy. If Ralf Rangnick can’t handle Cristiano Ronaldo, he’s not a great coach.
“The greatest coaches of this world have always managed to work with the best and most difficult characters.
“So if Ralf Rangnick can’t do that, he won’t be a good coach.”
Fjortoft says Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes would have been consulted over the appointment of Rangnick.
And he cannot see the new Red Devils boss wanting to start a war with Ronaldo as soon as he walks through the door at Carrington.
“So I think he will find a way and I also think that they have talked about this before,” Fjortoft added.
“I don’t think Ralf Rangnick arrived at Old Trafford before Cristiano Ronaldo was told, or Jorge Mendes.
“In the short term, he needs results. We’re talking about this gegenpressing and everything he’s learned, what I’m saying is in the short term before he has his team [playing that way] he has to find a way, because he’s said to Manchester United.
“I don’t think the first thing he will do is to go into a war with Cristiano Ronaldo. I can’t see him doing that.”
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